AT&T Text Spams Customers Promoting American Idol; Insists It's Not Spam
from the redefining-spam dept
For the most part, mobile operators have been good about trying to prevent SMS text spam, but it appears that AT&T has gone in the other direction. It’s actually spamming people. Apparently it sent a text message promoting the TV show American Idol to anyone who had voted in past American Idol contests or anyone that AT&T considered to be a “heavy texter.” I can almost (but not quite) understand contacting former voters. But randomly targeting other “heavy texters” is simply pure spam.
But that’s not the way AT&T sees it. In a statement that entirely redefines spam, a spokesperson said that it wasn’t spam because they didn’t charge people to receive the message. He also claimed it was no problem because people could opt-out of future messages. This shows an incredible (but all too typical for AT&T) tone deafness to the issue. Email spam is already quite annoying. But text messaging spam takes it to an entirely more ridiculous level by proactively interrupting what a person is doing, no matter where they are. At least email spam can be compartmentalized to when you’re actually checking your email (and, these days, can be pretty effectively filtered). Text messaging is a lot more intrusive, and for AT&T to claim that this is somehow “okay” because the TV show is “built on texting,” is simply ridiculous.